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Bolivia political risk thoughts (from IKN499)

Here’s one that nobody up there is talking about. Yet. From IKN499, last Sunday.

Keeping an
eye on Bolivia

As widely expected, last week
President Evo Morales of Bolivia
got judicial approval for the change of his country’s constitution that will
allow him to run once again for re-election in the 2019 Presidentials,
scheduled for the back end of 2019. As noted a few weeks ago, this election
might not turn out in quite the same way as any other in the last decade,
because Evo’s presidency is showing signs of supporter fatigue, there’s dissent
among what are understood to be his base supporters and now we have far right
wing Jair Bolsonaro about to become President of its neighbour, the vastly
larger and richer Brazil, who has previously pledged allegiance to the far
right wing politicos in the Bolivia’s largest city in the East, Santa Cruz.

It is therefore interesting (as in
the Chinese curse) to see Andres Oppenheimer, the hard right wing political
commentator in both Spanish and English language Americas, running an op-ed
piece last week entitled, “Bolivian
President Evo Morales is carrying out a slow-motion coup. Why isn’t the region
talking about it?”
 (11) and
comparing Bolivia’s economy
to that of Venezuela and
warning of dire consequences etc etcif Evo is left unchecked (yes you can compare
the hard left political stances of Bolivia
and Venezuela, but Bolivia’s
economic stability has been remarkably good for the last ten years and shows no
sign of weakening).

I continue with my sneaking feeling that Bolivia
may be the surprise political flashpoint of the region next year. If so, the
“buy when blood in streets” maxim goes into effect, which also means of course
that you shouldn’t get too interested too early. Watching brief.

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